SaaS, or Software as a Service, offered via a cloud computing platform, brings out enormous benefits for businesses, such as: cost savings and fast speed in deployment, communication improvement compared to a business using on-premise software for the same purpose. This is definitely a trend that enterprises would like to keep up with by trying to take part in the race of changing their internal softwares to cloud computing platforms. But there are a few things that organizations should be acknowledged before fully adopt SaaS softwares, as it also introduces new challenges related to security, such as: data breaches, data loss, denial-of-service attacks, downtime. To overcome these challenges and adapt to become SaaS-powered enterprises, organizations need to consider what are the key questions regarding security to consider before choosing a SaaS vendor.
1. What is SaaS?
According to TechTarget, Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing, alongside Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
2. Examples of SaaS providers
Salesforce.com: a customer relations management platform that collects leads and prospects information on a website. It is easy to be accessed anytime by authorized employees.
Microsoft Office 365: The cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 allows users to create, edit and share content from any device in real-time with colleagues and customers.
Slack: A real-time messaging and search platform. Users may organize team conversations in open channels dedicated to specific topics for invite-only participants.
Abivin vRoute: Abivin vRoute is an AI Logistics Optimization Platform that helps save enterprises logistics costs, automate all manual processes, and improve Supply Chain Visibility. The Transportation Management Module helps customer save cost by automating manual processes, but the key component that sets Abivin vRoute apart from others is the proprietary Route Optimization Algorithms. Many companies still rely on making delivery plans manually. Some companies have been trying other open sources or paid tools out there, but those services are very limited to only a few basic parameters. However, with this algorithms, Abivin is able to solve more than 30 parameters, including complicated conditions such as load planning, multimodal transport, traffic and road constraints. On top of that, Abivin utilizes Machine Learning to improve the efficiency overtime.
3. Questions to ask a SaaS providers regarding security:
With these questions, you can determine how secured a vendor is before they have access to your company’s information.
What is each party’s role in the protection of your data? It is essential for your enterprise's risk management to be aware of how your data is accessed. Companies should not trust that the provider is liable for data breaches. Most cloud vendors will require a shared responsibility regarding security.
How should the data be processed when your organization stop using their SaaS service? Companies need to review steps to process data with a cloud provider. It is important for organizations to be sure: How the SaaS vendor will assist with the transition, including providing the company’s data back to them or a third party in an effective manner.
Who can view your company's data in the cloud? Organizations should understand that vendor's employees, who maintain the cloud can view the data. Therefore, it is vital to prevent unauthorized viewing, copying or emailing of customer information?
Can your organization perform penetration tests? Penetration test is a method for companies to check if their systems are well-secured. Cloud service vendors that allow customers to perform such testing are willing to be transparent about their security.
How does the cloud service sustain disasters affecting data, and which data is backed up where? Most SaaS vendors have a disaster recovery plan but they are not always effective in recovering timeline or routine testing. A SaaS provider should be able to respond as soon as possible. These responses can be listed to measure the effectiveness in risk assessment, so it is easier for you to choose a potential provider. After all, your company is directly responsible for your data, therefore selecting a trustful provider with good security practice is the wisest choice.
A trusted SaaS vendor should meet these criteria: 24/7 security monitoring, third-party certifications for security practices, firewalls, intrusion detection and application security. In supply chain management, Abivin vRoute is a SaaS that strictly guarantees security, improves data protection each year. We strongly believe that security needs to be put ahead as one of the most important factors that we care about. Besides, our Customer Success Department is in charge of collecting customer feedback and suggestions to support users and improve our security service constantly.